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-   -   OK. Just finish Michael Haneke's Cache' (Hidden)... (https://forum.dvdtalk.com/movie-talk/475821-ok-just-finish-michael-hanekes-cache-hidden.html)

pum 08-28-06 11:28 AM

OK. Just finish Michael Haneke's Cache' (Hidden)...
 
I felt cheated. Your opinion?

The conclusion: I think Hineke has the talent of Hitchcock, but sadly, he want to be Antonioni, or even Kieslowski. He will be the great director to direct Vanishing (A thriller about the missing girl) but unfortunately, he want to do L'avventura (A sophsiticated film which use missing girl as a tool) instead. For me, Cache' failed just because of that.

Richard Malloy 08-28-06 12:05 PM

I'm glad you feel that way.

Perhaps you will understand how I feel having logged into a thread expecting something resembling an interesting insight - as is usually the case in this portion of the forum - and instead finding your bullshit 5-word-post.

It's been quite awhile since this film was released, and I'm sorry to say we decided to go ahead and discuss it without you. If your post above is any indication, that appears to have been the smart move. Anyway, I suggest that you learn to use the search function, with which you can find the ongoing conversation on this film and others. Once found, you can add your own thoughts to that discussion, should you actually have any.

pum 08-28-06 12:20 PM


Originally Posted by Richard Malloy
expecting something resembling an interesting insight and instead finding bullshit.

That is exactly what I felt about this film, seem like I did a good job portrayed it to you. :)
I didn't say anything doesn't mean I don't have anything to say but I'm more interested in other people's opinion for now.
From your reply, I guess you love the film then.

Subgeniusguy 08-28-06 02:14 PM


Originally Posted by Richard Malloy
I'm glad you feel that way.

Perhaps you will understand how I feel having logged into a thread expecting something resembling an interesting insight - as is usually the case in this portion of the forum - and instead finding your bullshit 5-word-post.

That's pretty funny. Richard has a point. You could explain why exactly you feel cheated rather than posting what amounts to a bash. People like or dislike films all the time. It's not really unique that you disliked it. If you are trying to initiate a dialogue, you could make some particular critical points.

Richard Malloy 08-28-06 02:48 PM

But I really didn't mean for my response to come off as harsh as it sounds to me now.

Pum, if you want to elaborate on your opinion of the film, I'd be game to participate in that discussion. It'd be a good excuse to watch the film again.

marty888 08-28-06 09:52 PM


Originally Posted by pum
I felt cheated. Your opinion?

My opinion? I didn't feel cheated.

(Nothing like scintillating dialogue filled with probing insights - especially in the wrong forum for a topic that already has its own thread:
http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showthread.php?t=454614)

pum 08-28-06 09:59 PM

Subgeniusguy, I didn't explain because I believed it's really obvious from this film where it cheated audience. But of course I'm more than happy to explain if you want me to.
OK. Here we go.
Michael Haneke is a great director. His talent can compare to only living fews. Not many directors can create tension just from the scene of a nice guy come to our house to ask for eggs (Funny Game). But I think he believed he himself was more sophisticated than he really is, that's where the film failed.
Technically speaking, this film was superb. The first two-third was really great it just need an OK ending to gain 10/10 rating but unfortunately, he can't think of one. To excuse the film didn't mean to explain is cheap. Bergman, Antonioni, or even Fellini can think of good ending without too much explanation. L'avventura had good ending and 8 1/2 was a really hard one to end.
Why I felt cheated? Because the film is not interesting in the political angle. Not all Algerians living in the poor flats behaved as nice as that. It’s not interesting in the “guilt” angle, the way he told the story about French 1961 massacre of Algerians. The..umm.. "you-massacred-them-you-were-bad-you-should-feel-guilty" message is not interesting or at least, he didn't make it interesting. The only angle of the film that’s interesting is thriller angle. The video made the film. But somehow when Auteil’s character went out of his house to check who rang the door and didn’t find one and when he was closing the door he found another tape lying mysteriously waiting, I bet myself Haneke couldn’t have way out of that. And he couldn’t. He said he wouldn’t but he couldn’t. He resorted to cheap trick to have us interested.
Of course the tape can be conscience. But to not explain it is as annoying as I wrote the thread others hope for interesting insight but found only five words, don’t you think? ;)

pum 08-28-06 11:25 PM


Originally Posted by Richard Malloy
But I really didn't mean for my response to come off as harsh as it sounds to me now.

That's OK. I didn't mean to "bash" the film either. Notice I didn't say it's a bad film, just I felt cheated.

pro-bassoonist 08-29-06 12:16 AM


Originally Posted by pum
Why I felt cheated? Because the film is not interesting in the political angle.

Actually the film is quite interesting given precisely the angle you mention. There is a much larger description of Haneke's vision where each of the main protagonists is linked to a fragment of France and its political past thus there is no real resolution at the very end (at least according to those who like their cinema with concrete resolution(s)). As the story explores the enigma of rationalizing cause-effect/action-reaction throwing in the above-mentioned political overtones Cache is anything but a mystery-whodunit film.
Ciao,
Pro-B

ps.
Marty has given you a great pointer, perhaps you should look into it....

pum 08-29-06 01:55 AM


Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist
Cache is anything but a mystery-whodunit film.
Ciao,
Pro-B

So was L'avventura not about where the missing girl was. It still has good ending though.

Personally, I think the political angle of Cache' is so flat. It's kind of like good guy/bad guy black and white. It just blamed the obvious. France rape Algeria so France was bad and Algeria was good. That's why Mahjid unbelievably behaved so nice and so innocent. But the interesting thing is geo-politic is more complicated than this. And in light of modern incident (Iraq), it's even more complexed than before. That's why I said it's not interesting.
Blue/White/Red had done a good job mixed politic into the film though.

Thanks for the comment. I'll check the link Marty gave later in the day because right now I'm so busy. And if I change my mind after read it, I'll report back. :)

pum 08-29-06 02:36 AM

OK. I have include my conclusion to the first post for you guys to initiate dialougue. Please excuse my bluntness. Just think of it as the reflection of frustration of someone who just saw an almost brilliant film the director didn't know how to end.

Richard Malloy 08-29-06 12:03 PM

Oh, well this is easy! I thought this would end up being a debate over something so subjective as "taste", but it turns out that you're just flat-out wrong, pum.

Your focus is clearly on the end of the film, but you also criticize the film as a whole for being something akin to an oversimplified gloss on colonialist sins, yet another tiresome, finger-wagging reprimand of the Western bourgeoisie. Or, if you don't consider that theme to be tired, reductive, or derivative, you at least acknowledge that such fare is "not interesting" to you. The only thing that interests you is "the thriller angle".

The short answer would be for you to stay out of the deep end, and stick to genre films. These will stick to the formula in a way you should find satisfying. But what to make of your citations to "8-1/2" or "L'avventura"? It seems that you're willing to accept something more than pure genre banality, not to mention open-ended, highly irresolute conclusions.

So, why are dissatisfied with the ending of "Cache"? My only thought is that something of significance might have escaped you. Certainly, Haneke is making a point about the repression of Algerians (or any ethnic minority) and how those who benefit from this exploitation (the French bourgeoisie, or any class residing at the top of a given societal structure) fail to acknowledge it, or even to be consciously aware of it. The issue, of course, is one of perspective.

As in "Code Unknown", Haneke is exploring the reluctance or inability of the Western bourgeois to question its own viewpoint or comprehend a differing ("foreign") perspective. Haneke reveals the limits of perpective in the grammar of his film. He distorts the image, switches from "live" events to recorded ones, and utilizes unusual vantage points to sow doubt about the accuracy of the images we're witnessing. From the first shot - at the point where we begin to hear voices discussing the action on screen and then the footage is rewound - Haneke reveals that what we see is not necessarily the "truth" of any given event, that some element is being withheld ("hidden") that might tell us more or contradict what we think we know. Thereafter, the viewer is forced to question the perspective and objectivity of every single shot to the point of becoming actively complicit in the events we witness.

At one point, Haneke even seems to question the significance of the events in his own film. Consider the scene where Georges and Anne become desperate in their search for the missing Pierrot, with the panicked calls to family friends and police. Haneke blocks the scene with Georges and Anne off to the border, and their television set situated center frame. As Georges and Anne grow increasingly distressed, the television news broadcasts footage of Third World misery. The death and desperation is unyeilding, far more devastating and widespread than one missing, privileged child. But we're hardwired to focus on that child of privilege to the exclusion of all the other horrors which, by any objective measure, eclipse the brief disappearance of a single Western child. Understandably, for Georges and Anne, Pierrot's disappearance takes precedence. But for us, the viewers, should it? By centering the television and marginalizing Georges and Anne, Haneke creates an instructive dilemma for the viewer between the objectively inconsequential personal crisis at hand, and the widespread catastrophe of the Third World. And as the television takes us from the West Bank to Iraq to Afghanistan and on and on through the litany of horribles, the perceptive viewer perhaps notes the stain of colonialism here, too.

But your problem is really with the ending, no? For you, Haneke "didn't know how to end" his film. For me, Haneke has created the perfect ending, one that precisely illustrates his primary theme and requires the viewer to employ every tool we've developed over the course of the narrative as we realize that it's on us to decode every shot, every presumably objective perspective that turns out to be somehow compromised, always some key element remaining "hidden". So, there, in the left of the frame... "the conversation". And we suddenly realize something about two characters that (again) completely rearranges our perspective. It might be the solution.... the answer to the mystery! But no. We don't learn enough. Something still remains hidden. We can't hear. We don't know what's been said. And that shot, we've seen it before. Is this live? Is this another tape? Do we have a solution or only more questions?

Again, the limits of perspective. In our subjective experience, something always remains hidden. But Haneke hopes we are now more fully aware, that perhaps we have shed a bit of the old false consciousness. We remember. Our memories take on a new light as our perspective broadens. We understand that actions have consequences beyond those we can see and which we may never know, or which may have been purposefully forgotten. And so we see the repetition of a static image, and within that image two boys talk and then go their separate ways. And in that split moment, we have learned something extraordinary, even shocking. But more than that, we realize that there's so much more that remains hidden.

bdots48 08-29-06 03:49 PM

Richard Malloy - excellent insights on this film. I agree right down the line. For me, I would have felt cheated if Haneke HAD neatly summed up the "mystery".

Richard Malloy 08-29-06 04:39 PM

I agree with you on that point completely, but I'm not sure that's Pum's problem with the ending. After all, he (rightly IMO) praises the ending to "L'avventura", which concerns itself with issues rather remote to the disappearance of... oh, what was her name again? ;)

But any all-encompassing explanation (a la Hercule Poirrot, say) would certainly lessen the impact of "Cache". More than that, I think if Haneke had provided a single, terminal explanation, it would completely undermine his primary purpose. At that point, the audience would simply stop thinking about it, stop grappling with the possibilities, and either accept the explanation or rationalize why it doesn't add up (isn't "fair" in the typical whodunnit sense in that sufficient "clues" weren't provided to the audience). Rather than leaving us grappling with problems of perspective (or lack of same), questions of guilt and conscience, and how one responds in moments of moral reckoning, we simply pronounce the narrative good-or-bad as a construct in itself (in the genre sense), in this instance as "a mystery" or "whodunnit".

But I don't think that's Pum's criticism. I think he has problems with the execution of the film (as in Haneke set out to make something on par with "L'avventura" and ended up with a pale imitation like "The Birds"). Or possibly his criticism is with the whole theme of guilt and moral reckoning as it pertains to the Franco-Algerian problem. I don't want to put words in his mouth, and I think the possibility of misunderstanding is magnified by a slight language barrier. I'm certainly not criticizing - I don't have the guts to engage in complex discussions in my secondary language, and even if I did, I certainly could not express myself as well in French as Pum does in English! (So, forgive me, Pum, if I've misunderstood or mischaracterized your criticisms.)

pum 08-30-06 07:17 AM

Woo... Just finished works. Come here to read the link Marty gave and see Richard's reply, I don't think I need to read the link anymore. If there's someone who understanded Hidden perfectly, we got it right here. It must be him.


Originally Posted by Richard Malloy
But I don't think that's Pum's criticism. I think he has problems with the execution of the film (as in Haneke set out to make something on par with "L'avventura" and ended up with a pale imitation like "The Birds").

You speak my mind better than me. :) Yes, that's my problem. The last two scenes, I think it's inadequate to conclude the film.


Originally Posted by Richard Malloy
the possibility of misunderstanding is magnified by a slight language barrier.

Yes, language is a problem, as you can see. I'll try my best.

To read yours and Pro-B's, I have come to the conclusion that you need to share the political POV as Haneke to enjoy this. Unfortunately, I don't. Maybe that's why I frustrated.


Originally Posted by Richard Malloy
At one point, Haneke even seems to question the significance of the events in his own film. Consider the scene where Georges and Anne become desperate in their search for the missing Pierrot, with the panicked calls to family friends and police. Haneke blocks the scene with Georges and Anne off to the border, and their television set situated center frame. As Georges and Anne grow increasingly distressed, the television news broadcasts footage of Third World misery. The death and desperation is unyeilding, far more devastating and widespread than one missing, privileged child. But we're hardwired to focus on that child of privilege to the exclusion of all the other horrors which, by any objective measure, eclipse the brief disappearance of a single Western child. Understandably, for Georges and Anne, Pierrot's disappearance takes precedence. But for us, the viewers, should it? By centering the television and marginalizing Georges and Anne, Haneke creates an instructive dilemma for the viewer between the objectively inconsequential personal crisis at hand, and the widespread catastrophe of the Third World. And as the television takes us from the West Bank to Iraq to Afghanistan and on and on through the litany of horribles, the perceptive viewer perhaps notes the stain of colonialism here, too.

This scene bothered me somewhat. I felt just the opposite. Yes, you should mind your child, your business, first and foremost. It's nice to have western countries to help third-world countries humanitarianly but I don't think third-world countries would want interference from westerns be it conservative way or liberal way. The world will always be full of problems. You can't get rid of it. The best thing you can do though is to be fair, not taking side. any side.
And in the awareness sense, maybe people are political-aware but not share the same political agenda as Haneke's?

In term of political POV, IMO Hidden is less sophisticated even though it had more layers than Lawrence of Arabia. Maybe that's because Lawrence of Arabia was from true story. In Lawrence of Arabia we saw the real world: Everybody's trying to take advantage of everybody. And Sir David Lean even had time to study internal conflict of Lawrence itself.
Now, Auteil's and his family seemed a little bit one-dimensional. And the portrayal of the Algerians is also somewhat one-dimensional. To be fair, that's all Haneke needed.
But in spite of this, I was still glued to the film, why? Because Haneke has great technique. He is awesome. He deserved every awards he got. I still want to see his films, especially one that's not into too much politic. Too bad my Piano Teacher DVD crashed just before half of the film. :(

I'm a little envious of Richard, or Pro-B. If I share the same political interest you had in this film, my watching experince would be most awesome. I almost love it already. And I really want to love it. You can feel that it's special. :)

Richard Malloy 08-30-06 11:11 AM


Originally Posted by pum
To read yours and Pro-B's, I have come to the conclusion that you need to share the political POV as Haneke to enjoy this. Unfortunately, I don't. Maybe that's why I frustrated.

I'm not sure one has to acknowledge, much less share any particular political perspective when it comes to this film. One merely has to acknowledge the history. Algeria was deemed a key component of the "Fourth Republic", and France's invasion and colonization of that country included immediately moving tens of thousands of French (and Italians and others, as well, I believe) into the country, confiscating property and redistributing it to European colons, granting only to European colons the rights of full citizenship (but not the indigenous population), as well as all the other indecencies visited upon the occupied population. I think it's very interesting to note in the context of this film that the invasion of Algeria was actually a plan of the ancien régime, and it succeeded right around the same time that Charles X was deposed. The new constitutional monarchy was more liberal than the former regime, but continued the subjugation and colonization of Algeria, although apparently somewhat reluctantly, and mostly to uphold "French honor" and provide a bulwark against English influence in the region. In other words, typical colonial brutality visited upon a population scarcely considered human by the occupiers.

In a way, I think Georges' mother is somewhat representative of the prior régime - in this instance, the Fifth Republic under de Gaulle - and to me she seems the most culpable member of the family. Her conversation with Georges is a crucial scene, and I think it's revealing on the film's other big issue, the tendency of the powerful and privileged to conveniently "forget" the wrongs it commits against the powerless and neglected. After all, there are issues of specific personal guilt in this film, surrounded by (and as a result of) this greater event of collective guilt, the 1961 Paris Massacre, in which Majid's parents are killed by Maurice Papon's police force. Good story on it here: http://www.washington-report.org/bac...97/9703036.htm

This event was itself apparently "hidden" in French society for years, the collective amnesia attributed to official repression of the story, but perhaps also a somewhat more intentional act of forgetting on the part of the citizenry. In a way, the belated recognition by the French government in 2001 or thereabouts of its complicity in the massacre is not so different from Georges' recognition of his own culpability with respect to Majid. Though - as he argues in his defense - he was only six at the time, and certainly didn't understand the larger issues, he was certainly aware that he was the privileged one of the two, and he used his position to preserve that status, at the expense of Majid (whose parents, you'll recall, had just been murdered by Papon's thug police force).

Perhaps in much the same way as the tapes and drawings brought Georges back to the events of his youth, reports and stories on the '61 Massacre began percolating into the public's consciousness, causing something of a moral reckoning by French society. The placing of a commerative plaque may strike most as a rather feeble act of contrition, but the recognition of what occurred those many years ago is certainly something of a step forward. If we are to draw parallels (and I think we're meant to), then that's a step that Georges has arguably taken, though perhaps only to the same small degree as the larger society. And perhaps it's a step his mother's not prepared to take, preferring as she does that such things remain well hidden, buried in the past and of no consequence today... at least for her.


Originally Posted by pum
This scene [the television news accounts of Third World travesties] bothered me somewhat. I felt just the opposite. Yes, you should mind your child, your business, first and foremost. It's nice to have western countries to help third-world countries humanitarianly but I don't think third-world countries would want interference from westerns be it conservative way or liberal way. The world will always be full of problems. You can't get rid of it. The best thing you can do though is to be fair, not taking side. any side.

As I said, I understand why Georges and Anne would be preoccupied with their missing child. But the question is much different for us, the viewers. By placing the television in the center of the frame and marginalizing Georges and Anne, Haneke posits an instructive dilemma: should we be more interested in the objectively inconsequential personal crisis at hand, or should the widespread catastrophe of the Third World be of greater significance? [In the United States, we are subject to an almost endless litany of "missing blonde girl" stories, inevitably from privileged backgrounds representative of the dominant class. These stories apparently bring massive ratings to the cable news networks, and displace such trivialities as war, poverty, disease, depletion of resources, destruction of the planet, and other dirty things we'd rather ignore.]

You suggest that "it's nice" for Westerners to help the Third World in humanitarian terms, but you ultimately say it's best "not taking sides". I think Haneke wanted you (or at least a Western bourgeois viewer) to take note of Western culpability for those problems. You know... we broke it, and now we simply move on, sweeping the pieces under the rug of our collective amnesia (or rationalizations of innocence), while leaving the shattered regions in our wake as we live comfortably above it all, having already exploited its peoples and resources. Much as Georges' mother has done (despite her offered gesture of noblesse oblige ultimately withdrawn as a result of Georges' childish treacheries); much as Georges himself has done.

pum 09-03-06 08:15 PM

Sorry, Richard. I didn't have too much time as I wanted recently. I'm just checking back and I'm glad you replied. I appreciated it. It will make people understand this film better, or warn them in advance. :) For me, It certainly will make my second viewing more enjoyable.
My take on political message in the film I will describe below together with the television scene.


Originally Posted by Richard Malloy
As I said, I understand why Georges and Anne would be preoccupied with their missing child. But the question is much different for us, the viewers. By placing the television in the center of the frame and marginalizing Georges and Anne, Haneke posits an instructive dilemma: should we be more interested in the objectively inconsequential personal crisis at hand, or should the widespread catastrophe of the Third World be of greater significance? [In the United States, we are subject to an almost endless litany of "missing blonde girl" stories, inevitably from privileged backgrounds representative of the dominant class. These stories apparently bring massive ratings to the cable news networks, and displace such trivialities as war, poverty, disease, depletion of resources, destruction of the planet, and other dirty things we'd rather ignore.]

You suggest that "it's nice" for Westerners to help the Third World in humanitarian terms, but you ultimately say it's best "not taking sides". I think Haneke wanted you (or at least a Western bourgeois viewer) to take note of Western culpability for those problems. You know... we broke it, and now we simply move on, sweeping the pieces under the rug of our collective amnesia (or rationalizations of innocence), while leaving the shattered regions in our wake as we live comfortably above it all, having already exploited its peoples and resources. Much as Georges' mother has done (despite her offered gesture of noblesse oblige ultimately withdrawn as a result of Georges' childish treacheries); much as Georges himself has done.

I think what turned me off most about the scene is what Haneke showed on TV. He didn't show human suffering. No Darfur. No the great Tsunami. No the ice poles melted. No hurricane devastation. He showed Iraq. He showed Palestine. In other words, he showed politic. And both are complicated issue with no clear good side or bad side that people can agree upon. Personally, I want the filmakers to do their jobs: making good film (which Hidden is but can be better) instead of preaching politic that they're not too intelligent about.

If he want to tell a story about France massacre of Algerians. Fine. Make it interesting. Kubrick did great anti-war film called Dr.Strangelove and everyone can enjoy it wheter you are pro or anti military. Casablanca is great pro-war and everyone can also enjoy it even though you're not much eager to join WWII. Tell a good story, don't push your agenda.
Hidden is interesting enough but in the wrong way. :)
IMO if Haneke want to end the film the way he did. He needed to re-balance it. The first half is too realistic, too menacing. He didn't prepare his audience well enough for this kind of ending. He can always ask David Lynch for tips. Look at Mulholland Drive, it's superb. they both are the same "one story disguised as another". The difference is Lynch prepared his audience really well while Haneke hanged on too much to the who-dun-it trick.

Richard Malloy 09-05-06 10:24 AM


Originally Posted by pum
I think what turned me off most about the scene is what Haneke showed on TV. He didn't show human suffering. No Darfur. No the great Tsunami. No the ice poles melted. No hurricane devastation. He showed Iraq. He showed Palestine. In other words, he showed politic. And both are complicated issue with no clear good side or bad side that people can agree upon. Personally, I want the filmakers to do their jobs: making good film (which Hidden is but can be better) instead of preaching politic that they're not too intelligent about.

Properly or not, the ongoing warfare in Iraq and Palestine is viewed as the modern day equivalent of traditional Western colonial aggression. And, of course, one should not forget that Israel and Palestine and the current incarnation of Iraq exist as they do because of the actions of the Western colonial powers. As I'm sure you know, "we" (that is, "the Western Colonial Powers") created the modern states of Israel and Iraq (representing the cobbling together of three indigenous ethnic/religious groups: the Kurds, the Shia, and the Sunni). Thus, the situations there more easily fit the themes and plot of "Cache" in a way that polar ice-cap melting, tsunamis, and the ethnic-cleansing in Darfur resist. I understand that your political concerns and opinions do not coincide with Haneke's, but neither would they work for his film.

You go on to say that Iraq and Palestine represent "complicated issue[s] with no clear good side or bad side". Haneke may well by less ambivalent than you on the question, but the ambiguity of right and wrong in complex situations also better fits the theme and plot of "Cache" than something like the more obvious symptoms of climate change.


Originally Posted by pum
If he want to tell a story about France massacre of Algerians. Fine. Make it interesting. Kubrick did great anti-war film called Dr.Strangelove and everyone can enjoy it wheter you are pro or anti military.

Kubrick made another great anti-war film a decade before called "Paths of Glory". Upon its release in 1957, it was immediately banned in France by the very same government that ruled over the '61 Paris Massacre and its subsequent cover-up. After engaging in this conversation with you for that last week or so, I wonder where your sympathies would lie back in '57. I suspect you would have been condemning "Paths of Glory" for the same reasons. It is, after all, "political", and it did, after all, divide audiences.


Originally Posted by pum
Casablanca is great pro-war and everyone can also enjoy it even though you're not much eager to join WWII. Tell a good story, don't push your agenda.
Hidden is interesting enough but in the wrong way. :)

If you want an easy cinema where none of your preconceptions are challenged, and no themes that might make you uncomfortable are explored, then stick to typical Hollywood product and network televison. These are enormous industries that make fistfuls of money on what is basically an easy formula: alienate no one, say nothing at all of any consequence, and always endeavor to appear to be all things to all people. This is what we commonly refer to as "shooting for the lowest common denominator". Mindless eye-candy is the ideal product of these industries, and the mindless zombies consume it greedily.

Haneke, on the other hand, is a provocateur, an artist, a finger-wagging moralist, even. His films are indictments, not panderings to pre-existing prejudices. I'm quite certain he would consider your desire that he steer clear of the difficult issues, as well as your affinity for narratives that don't challenge you in any particular way, to be the height of bourgeois complacency. And highly immoral. In a very direct and specific way, everything you say Haneke should do is everything he's been fighting against his entire career. If your last post is a true indication of your feelings on such matters, then you have to understand that Haneke truly despises everything you stand for.

BuddhaWake 09-05-06 12:20 PM

I came in late into this discussion but Richard, I couldn't agree more with what you have said. I think you have nailed it right on the head.

toddly6666 09-05-06 01:56 PM

I didn't see the film, but I know for sure that the film sucks. Does one really have to see a film to know that film sucks or not?

wendersfan 09-05-06 02:29 PM

Richard, tremendous description of the appeal of this masterpiece. Even though it was released in 2005, the movie has overwhelmed my cinematic viewing for this year, overshadowing everything else, even the latest by the Dardennes (another fantastic film, BTW.)

marty888 09-05-06 04:11 PM

Thank you Richard!

eXcentris 09-05-06 06:02 PM

Despite the limits imposed on Georges behavior weakening the mystery aspect, Cache remains a great film. :p

eXcentris 09-05-06 06:11 PM


Originally Posted by toddly6666
I didn't see the film, but I know for sure that the film sucks.

Really... And how did you come to the conclusion that this critically acclaimed film... "sucks"?


Does one really have to see a film to know that film sucks or not?
Since you constantly overpraise average to mediocre films after having seen them, I'd say that in your case, viewing a film before passing judgement doesn't make one damn bit of difference. :)

toddly6666 09-05-06 09:11 PM

eX,
i was just kidding around, being sarcastic! I was just entertained by Richard and Pum's debate...How can anyone have any say on a film without seeing it?

eXcentris 09-05-06 10:38 PM

toddly, I'm just pulling you leg mate. :)

siegfried 09-06-06 11:43 AM

Required to view in a movie theatre
 
Haneke's film's really need to be seen the first time in a movie theater to get the total communal bludgeoning effect. The bewildering vacuous sound of the audience as the end credits roll up is amazing. I went to see Cache at a trendy suburban Regal Cinema location, and wow,.... I found the ending to be powerful and I thought about it for days.

Tutut 09-07-06 02:00 AM


Originally Posted by pum

I think what turned me off most about the scene is what Haneke showed on TV. He didn't show human suffering. No Darfur. No the great Tsunami. No the ice poles melted. No hurricane devastation. He showed Iraq. He showed Palestine. In other words, he showed politic. And both are complicated issue with no clear good side or bad side that people can agree upon. Personally, I want the filmakers to do their jobs: making good film (which Hidden is but can be better) instead of preaching politic that they're not too intelligent about.
If he want to tell a story about France massacre of Algerians. Fine. Make it interesting. Kubrick did great anti-war film called Dr.Strangelove and everyone can enjoy it wheter you are pro or anti military. Casablanca is great pro-war and everyone can also enjoy it even though you're not much eager to join WWII. Tell a good story, don't push your agenda.
Hidden is interesting enough but in the wrong way. :)

Sorry, I'm late on this thread, I didn't want to intervene first, I think you don't see you could find many other aspects of the film.

It's about the way people feel the image on TV, Georges is more concerned about the videotapes because he's feeling unsecured
watching them and totally indifferent or passive when TV shows the conflicts in the middle east.

It's about the power of image and manipulation of audience, Georges edits his TV show to make people say the things the way he wants,
the medias are more focused on Iraq or Palestine than on Darfur for example.

There's a parallel between the personnal guiltiness or shame of Georges with Majid and the collective guiltiness and shame of the french
society about events like those of 1961. The french cops called ironically the victims NPB "Noyés Par Balles", "drowned by bullets" and Papon
who was in charge of the police in Paris was a man who helped the nazis for deportation of jews during WWII (read this link) .

The independance war in Algeria was the same as In Iraq, in Palestine or in Ulster few years ago, it is just about people fighting
against an occupation army.

Just to explain people could have different approach than yours to this film. :)

pum 09-07-06 09:43 AM


Originally Posted by Richard Malloy
Properly or not, the ongoing warfare in Iraq and Palestine is viewed as the modern day equivalent of traditional Western colonial aggression. And, of course, one should not forget that Israel and Palestine and the current incarnation of Iraq exist as they do because of the actions of the Western colonial powers. As I'm sure you know, "we" (that is, "the Western Colonial Powers") created the modern states of Israel and Iraq (representing the cobbling together of three indigenous ethnic/religious groups: the Kurds, the Shia, and the Sunni). Thus, the situations there more easily fit the themes and plot of "Cache" in a way that polar ice-cap melting, tsunamis, and the ethnic-cleansing in Darfur resist. I understand that your political concerns and opinions do not coincide with Haneke's, but neither would they work for his film.

You go on to say that Iraq and Palestine represent "complicated issue[s] with no clear good side or bad side". Haneke may well by less ambivalent than you on the question, but the ambiguity of right and wrong in complex situations also better fits the theme and plot of "Cache" than something like the more obvious symptoms of climate change.

of course it fit the Hidden better. I'm just saying what he showed on TV is not human suffering. It's the politic. And I already said that I don't share the same political POV as Haneke. So his provocation may be less effective on me. For example, Iraqi people suffered under Saddam rule, now they're suffering under terrorism threat. what difference? nothing. So I'm not sure what Haneke tried to provoke by this film. For politic, people will and always have differnt opinion, different need. And again, they will never agree upon these complicated geo-politic issues. And they will certainly not suddenly change whatever agenda they had because of the film. period.
And moral got nothing to do with it.
Third-world-country people don't want Western to mess with their internal politic anymore. Just like you said, colonialism is bad. So if you knew it, then leave them alone.


Originally Posted by Richard Malloy
Kubrick made another great anti-war film a decade before called "Paths of Glory". Upon its release in 1957, it was immediately banned in France by the very same government that ruled over the '61 Paris Massacre and its subsequent cover-up. After engaging in this conversation with you for that last week or so, I wonder where your sympathies would lie back in '57. I suspect you would have been condemning "Paths of Glory" for the same reasons. It is, after all, "political", and it did, after all, divide audiences.

Interestingly, I haven't seen Path of Glory. Can't seem to find proper DVD edition of the film, so thank you for your suggestion of the movie. I also would like to know my reaction. :)


Originally Posted by Richard Malloy
If you want an easy cinema where none of your preconceptions are challenged, and no themes that might make you uncomfortable are explored, then stick to typical Hollywood product and network televison..

No, I never said that, and you know it. The Casablanca example is purely this: the political message can be convey by a few dialogue ("I bet New York is sleeping" or something like that). If people love the film, they will think about the message. You don't have to sacrifice the whole film for political message. And certainly you should not shove it to the audience face like that TV scene. If you think the Hidden is subtle, please see the scene of Auteil and black bicycler again. That showed racism very obviously it seemed out of place to the whole film.
Peter Bogdanovich said "Time is the best critic." We need time to see How Hidden stand the test of time. But obviously it can not change my political POV, and I'm a political aware person.


Originally Posted by Richard Malloy
Haneke, on the other hand, is a provocateur, an artist, a finger-wagging moralist, even. His films are indictments, not panderings to pre-existing prejudices. I'm quite certain he would consider your desire that he steer clear of the difficult issues, as well as your affinity for narratives that don't challenge you in any particular way, to be the height of bourgeois complacency. And highly immoral. In a very direct and specific way, everything you say Haneke should do is everything he's been fighting against his entire career. If your last post is a true indication of your feelings on such matters, then you have to understand that Haneke truly despises everything you stand for.

Like I said, the task of filmmaker is, and always will be judged upon, good story telling first and foremost. For politic, we always have many mediums that we can use to study.

eXcentris 09-07-06 09:57 AM

On a related note, this film just opened here:

Nuit Noire, 17 Octobre 1961, political and historical drama directed by Alain Tasma, with Clotilde Coureau, Thierry Fontineau and Jean-Michel Portal.

The film specifically addresses the "massacre" of Algerian demonstrators in Paris on October 17th 1961. Attacked, beaten, and thrown into the Seine river, between 50 and 200 Algerians died that night surrounded by total indifference. Buried into the collective subconsciousness, it took decades for the truth about these events to finally surface. It got *** in my paper which concluded "Strong historical drama despite uneven acting and script". Note that the film was originally made for tv but was later released in theaters.

pum 09-07-06 09:58 AM


Originally Posted by Tutut
Just to explain people could have different approach than yours to this film. :)

No, you don't. I get all the points you mentioned in the film while watching it. My problem is only that I almost love the film (I like the way he's show us nothing for 4 or 5 minutes, that's great filmmaking :)), but in the end I felt it lacked something.

pum 09-07-06 10:03 AM


Originally Posted by eXcentris
On a related note, this film just opened here:

Nuit Noire, 17 Octobre 1961, political and historical drama directed by Alain Tasma, with Clotilde Coureau, Thierry Fontineau and Jean-Michel Portal.

Is this the documentary that inspire Haneke to make Hidden?

eXcentris 09-07-06 10:12 AM


Originally Posted by pum
Is this the documentary that inspire Haneke to make Hidden?

It isn't a documentary it's a fictional drama based on historical events. And I'm sure that Hidden was long completed before this film was first shown on tv in October 2005.

pum 09-07-06 10:14 AM


Originally Posted by eXcentris
It isn't a documentary it's a fictional drama based on historical events. And I'm sure that Hidden was long completed before this film was first shown on tv in October 2005.

Ah. Thank you. I missed the word "drama". :)

eXcentris 09-07-06 10:17 AM


Originally Posted by pum
...I'm a political aware person.

Perhaps this is why you seem to be over-emphasizing a strong political message which simply isn't there? To me the mystery and the politics are just accessories used to explore the main theme which is guilt and how we seem to inherit guilt from prior generations.

pum 09-07-06 10:22 AM


Originally Posted by eXcentris
To me the mystery and the politics are just accessories used to explore the main theme which is guilt and how we seem to inherit guilt from prior generations.

That's fine by me. And I think you're right, it may be better if it sticked to only that and leave modern situations out. Sometimes you have to trust people that they also have brain and can connect the missing dots.
And before anyone misunderstand me, I didn't say leave them all out. Imply it. maybe show it on TV when Auteil have coffee while waiting. Not Close-Up shots of Iraq news like he did.

Tutut 09-07-06 02:51 PM


Originally Posted by pum
For example, Iraqi people suffered under Saddam rule, now they're suffering under terrorism threat. what difference? nothing.

From a political aware person I expected more open minded opinions.:)

I've been discussing with a person who worked in the middle east during the 80's, he told me that Iraq had the highest standard of living in the region.
Women had the same rights than men and they didn't wear abbaya, burka or veils but occidental clothes and yes, the opponents were tortured
and killed in Saddam's prisons, but it was and still is practically the same in every countries in the region.

The US government propaganda worked well, I stop there, it seems Iraq or middle east countries didn't exist before the gulf war. ;)

Tutut 09-07-06 03:02 PM


Originally Posted by eXcentris
On a related note, this film just opened here:

Nuit Noire, 17 Octobre 1961, political and historical drama directed by Alain Tasma, with Clotilde Coureau, Thierry Fontineau and Jean-Michel Portal.

The film specifically addresses the "massacre" of Algerian demonstrators in Paris on October 17th 1961. Attacked, beaten, and thrown into the Seine river, between 50 and 200 Algerians died that night surrounded by total indifference.

An other event of this time was Charonne on 8 february 1962.
Charonne (in french)

pum 09-09-06 12:56 AM


Originally Posted by Tutut
I've been discussing with a person who worked in the middle east during the 80's, he told me that Iraq had the highest standard of living in the region.

Yeah, tell that to Kurds and Shias (or even Sunnis who didn't get along well with Saddam) who got massacred, will you? ;)


Originally Posted by Tutut
Women had the same rights than men and they didn't wear abbaya, burka or veils but occidental clothes.

Have you ever ruled by cruel dictators? I give you a hint: it's not the outside (what we wear) that's matter, it's the inside.

The government is not the sole body to provide propaganda. Think about it. ;)

pum 09-09-06 12:58 AM

And to set record straight, let me clear this, IMHO, the movie has a very clear line of who and which is good, or who and which is bad. That's not provocation in my book. That's preaching.


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